How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall

How to Paint a Dead Man

Sarah Hall

Set in Italy and London, this lovely story spans the life and death of a painter. It introduces a varied cast of characters all who have been influenced, in some way, by the artist and his work. Weaving four strands of narrative are together in a fascinating way this is a book which paints pictures with words.


His left leg has been fed into a slim channel between two boulders. The roller has come to halt above his ankle, no, against his ankle. He has been cast awkwardly to the side and is half kneeling. There is the painful realisation that the accident is bad, then just pain - not ordinary pain, but something vivid and coruscating, as first his shocked silence, then his nauseous whimper, then his primal bellowing attests to. And though an instinctual physiological directive is telling him to get out of the trench, to extract himself pronto from the bite of rock jaws, he cannot.

  • The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall
  • Noctures by Kazuo Ishiguro

Books with similar mood

To the Back of Beyond

Peter Stamm

The Shape of Bones

Daniel Galera


Sayed Kashua

The Cutting Season

Attica Locke

The Lifeboat

Charlotte Rogan

The House of the Mosque

Kader Abdolah


Amanda Prantera

The Precipice

Ben Bova

The Speed of Light

Javier Cercas

Canal Dreams

Iain Banks

Light Lifting

Alexander MacLeod

The Paper Lovers

Gerard Woodward

The Last Treasure Hunt

Jane Alexander

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

Suzanne Joinson

Drifting House

Krys Lee

Black Dog

Stephen Booth

The Voyage of the Narwhal

Andrea Barrett

Errors of the Spirit


A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini

You Will Be Safe Here

Damian Barr

The Banker's Daughter

Emran Mian

The Rescue Man

Anthony Quinn

Union Atlantic

Adam Haslett

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

Jane Rogers


Annie Wang

High Risk

Matt Dickinson


Ian Watson

The Summer We Got Saved

Pat Cunningham Devoto


Barbara Gowdy


Hillary Jordan

The Impostor

Damon Galgut

The Memory of Love

Aminatta Forna

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson

The Welsh Girl

Peter Ho Davies

The Optimists

Andrew Miller

End of Miss Kind

Donald Rawley

The Desperate Remedy

Martin Stephen


Kitty Aldridge

When De Mark Buss

Geoffrey Philip and others

Four Walls

Vangelis Hatziyannidis

A State of Freedom

Neil Mukherjee

Stay With Me

Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Modern Day Fables

Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel

Esperanza Street

Niyati Keni


Lily King

Happiness, Like Water

Chinelo Okparanta

Under Your Skin

Sabine Durrant


Monique Roffey

Jamrach's Menagerie

Carol Birch